Chapter two

Ethan has always been on the move since his wife died five years ago after giving birth to their third child Sophie following some postnatal complications. What was supposed to be the happiest day of his life turned into a nightmare. One day he was happily married with two kids and expecting a third, the next moment, he was a widower with three kids. How in the world was he supposed to care for three kids, how would he perform the dual role of a father and mother to his children?

His wife Vanessa was buried two days after she died and as soon as the funeral was over, Ethan became a different person and was rarely ever home.  He spent most of his days away from his house and the memories it held for him. Every nook and Cranny of the house,  the furniture reminded him of his late wife. His children rarely saw him even on the weekends,  thus he became more like a stranger to them.  Ethan's mum  Teresa came to stay with them after her son lost his wife,  she had never been married, Ethan was conceived when she was just a teenager and despite breaking up with her boyfriend she kept the baby.  She was very much aware of her son's pain and understood it too but she did not buy into his idea of running away from his own home.

“ Your children need their father,  make yourself available to them when you still have the chance.” She pleaded constantly,  especially when the kids asked about their father. But Ethan always had an excuse,  the never-ending business meeting,  conferences, and his creation of new Holdings.  he would rather expand a new business idea than stay home.  it got to the point that the kids stopped asking if their father was coming home for dinner or not but the pain in their eyes could not be missed.

 Ethan always had a knack for business,  at the age of forty-three,  he was already a well-known real estate mogul, a savvy Businessman, property developer and he also had stocks and shares in other business ventures. Ethan made most of his money after his wife died, he ventured into buying dilapidated Buildings and refurbished them,  he also invested in the shares of internet companies, and subsequently, his income grew and he gained the status of a billionaire, despite his acquisitions, he still felt a burning hunger for more as he felt insatiable as if something was missing. 

Just like he did before his wife's death, he held some of his business meetings at five-star restaurants. However, after his wife's death, he only held more and more meetings this way he would never have to come home early. 

*************

Tonight Ethan would be attending a dinner party hosted by his business partner and friend Gaius at  Sheraton restaurant, he was going to propose to his girlfriend of two years. Ethan dreaded the event but had no choice but to attend. As if the flat tire he had while coming was not enough, he bumped into a clumsy waitress with a thick accent. And when his friend proposed he felt a great nostalgia and could not stop thinking about his own engagement ceremony.

Once Gaius slid the ring into his fiance's finger, Ethan excused himself and went outside the restaurant for some fresh air and also to get a grip of his warring emotions. That was when he heard someone cry out loud and he went to check out of curiosity. Turned out to be the same waitress he had bumped into earlier who was now wailing and talking to a male co-worker of hers. He did not intend to eavesdrop on their conversation,  however, he could hear her talking about cancer, her mother, and money.  Her words were jumbled together and he had a hard time understanding what she was talking about. 

When he felt better, he went into the restaurant and back to his friends. Everyone was in a jolly mood as they celebrated their friend's engagement. Ethan joined in the celebration pushing aside his pain.

AT THE OFFICE

“Someone looks happy this morning” Ethan greeted his friend Gaius as soon as he stepped into his office. “Are you not supposed to take the day off or something?”

“Hahaha.” Gaius laughed. “I got engaged, not married.”

“They all sound the same to me,” Ethan replied, falling back into his seat.

“I want to set a good example for the staff.”

“Yeah right. The good thing is that “you are finally getting rid of the bachelor tag.”

“Now I am petrified.” Gaius replied “I hope I did not make a mistake.” he said afterward.

“You are joking right,” Ethan observed his friend for a while. 

“I don't know, I just have my doubts,'' Gaius replied after some time had passed.

“Doubts? I thought you loved Fiona..”

“I do, it's just a little complicated.”

“Please do tell.” 

“Let's forget about me. Now tell me how the kids are, it's been a while.” Gaius changed the subject, it was not lost on Ethan but he decided to let it go.

“They are good. They would love to see you” Ethan replied meaning it, suddenly aware that he had not seen his kids for three days now

“And your mum, how is she holding up.”

“She is great, just her arthritis.”

“Hmm, is she the one still taking care of the kids. Or have you gotten them a nanny?”

“No, my mum rejected the idea of a nanny. It's either I remarry or nothing.`` Ethan shrugged, “Thanks to her, I don't have to worry if the kids are lacking anything since I am hardly home.”

“Are you still running away from your home?” 

Ethan remained silent for a while, there was no need to deny the truth “I still see her everywhere.” he finally admitted

“It's almost five years since she died, the kids are growing up and you are missing it. Let go of your grief and move on”

“I will.” he rose  from the chair “I have to get some work done, see you later.”

“We could have lunch together.” Gaius offered 

“Next time, I have so much work on my table,” Ethan replied, however, the reality of the situation was that he hated discussing his family, it always showed how much he was lagging behind in his duties to them.

And even though he had tried to date again and forget his past, he always failed. No woman was good enough and he ended up comparing them to his late wife. Unable to fall in love again,  he went for short affairs and flings hoping to satisfy his sexual urge, and gain momentary pleasure, his heart was never part of the deal and he intended to keep it that way.

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